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Week 4 - Only A Few Days Together 


We now only have four more days together as a group. Josh, Tasha and Emma are heading back/onto Australia for uni and work and the rest will be heading back to England. We have  had some great times in the last 4 weeks.

A personal highlight was the snorkelling trip when we saw a turtle swimming along on the sea bed with two fish feeding on its shell. For many of the group the highlight was the elephant sanctuary where we got to feed the elephants bananas and pineapples, walk with them through the jungle and then walk with them into the river and help them cool off. We learnt a lot about how it is important not to ride elephants just for entertainment as their spines are not designed in the same way as horses and it can damage their backs if they carry additional weight on their spine too often. Also the training regimes the elephants go through before they are tame enough for people to ride them can be brutal and is done when the elephants are very young.

Similarly we have been conscious to not go and visit any places which offered photos with tigers. Like the elephants, the tigers are also separated from their mothers when they are still only a couple of years old. As cubs they are often over fed on formula milk as this is the most popular part of a tiger experience- feeding the cubs and as a result the cubs are often physically sick from being fed the milk up to 20 times a day. As adults the tigers often have to be drugged so that they will sit still for hours on end for tourists to sit by them and have their photo taken. This inactivity plus an unbalanced diet can lead to health issues such as obesity.

Sadly we could not find a rehabilitation centre to visit on this trip but everyone agreed that it was better to see no tigers than pay to see ill tigers. For anyone travelling to Thailand in the future, make sure you check out the welfare of the animals you are going to see before paying a lot of money to fund something that is potentially harmfull. 

Natasha Wallis - South East Asia Trail Leader 

Find out more about the South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail.

Check out what volunteers on the South East Asia Trail are up to right now


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